Importance of Soil Optimization
for Arizona Plants and Trees
The soil on your property serves as the base upon which your plants and trees can either flourish or die out.
While the environment in Arizona offers many benefits such as scenic views and abundant wildlife, one of the downfalls of living in this arid state is dealing with poor quality soil.
Unfortunately, bad soil leads to serious issues with plants that discourage their growth, but you can counteract these problems by understanding the importance of Arizona soil management and optimization in your commercial or residential landscape.
Common Soil Issues in Arizona
Arizona soil has several main issues that are commonly noticed by property owners.
Most of the soil in the state has high clay content that is easily compacted. While compacted soil is most noticeable on hilly or rugged areas of land, it is also common to find it in residential and commercial neighborhoods.
Compacted soil leads to issues such as water runoff and the inability of roots to reach down to the lower levels of the soil to grow.
Alkalinity is also an issue with soil in the state, and improper pH levels cause plants and trees to receive inadequate water and nutrients from the soil.
In some instances, there may also be a layer of caliche formed by calcium deposits in the soil that is similar to cement. When this is in your soil, getting anything to grow can be nearly impossible, since you may not be able to plant new plants at the appropriate depth.
Signs of Poor Soil Quality in Plants and Trees
Property owners who attempt to grow plants on poor quality soil frequently notice the issue rather quickly. New plants generally fail to thrive, and you may wonder why you cannot seem to get anything to grow on the land.
It is also possible for the soil to become imbalanced during periods of drought. For instance, low rainfall allows salt levels in the soil to build up. When this occurs, you can see signs of stress in the plants on your property such as yellowed, curling leaves and shriveling stems. Pine trees and evergreens will show signs of flagging and needle drop.
Heavy salt buildup and poor pH levels can also cause flowering plants to not blossom, and trees in this type of soil are more susceptible to root rot and fungal diseases.
How Soil Optimization Works
The harsh conditions that exist in your landscape require you to add Arizona soil management and optimization to your plant and tree care plan.
During your initial consultation for soil management, samples may be taken from the ground to identify characteristics such as the pH level that affects plant growth. The plants and trees on your property will also be inspected to look for signs of stress that indicate a soil problem.
Once the problems with the soil are identified, a customized plan is developed to create the ideal conditions for plant growth. For instance, organic matter may be introduced to the soil to alter the texture and pH levels, and natural hormones may be used to stimulate root health of plants.
Soil management in Arizona is complicated by factors such as the slope of the land as well as the types of plants and trees that grow in your landscape. For this reason, what works for your neighbor may not work for you.
Always consult with a soil management professional before planting new trees and plants in your landscape and arrange for soil testing at the first sign of stress to keep the ground on your property optimized for plant growth.